Archive for July, 2014

 

Are you wasting money on mobile phone security apps?

mobile_phone_security

Do you need an antivirus app on your Android or iphone? Computer magazines and ezines like this often present stories about security risks on mobile phones and why we should part with more of our cash on antivirus programs and apps, but in a kind of misguided way. For example, in the article link above Computerworld cites google’s offer to refund money to anyone who bought a fake antivirus app on the google Play Store, but how many did download it and how many sought the refund?

Most of the articles on this subject quote statistics based on estimates and lab based data, not real world data. I have not heard from anyone or know of anyone who actually had an infected phone, Android or iphone. The articles on the subject mostly quote the well known antivirus vendors such as Trend Micro, Norton, MacAfee and others who have been selling a flawed product for years that do little to protect computers from malware, spyware, Trojans and rogue programs. These same people are selling antivirus programs for mobile phones and use the statistics as a marketing exercise. In this article from The Melbourne Age Digital Life Ben Grubb quotes Google’s Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security at Google who said “…those who used security software on the phones would likely get no protection from it”  (read the full article here). In 2011 a Google engineer called anti-virus software vendors for mobile phones charlatans and scammers. Open source programs manager at Google Chris DiBona called it “….. [bullshit] protection software”

Here’s some interesting statisitics, 80% of apps in the Apple store are called zombie apps – meaning they are hardly ever downloaded at all. The other 20% have been downloaded 75 billion times and earned $15 billion for their creators. If you are an especially cautious type you can look at www.lookout.com for iphone and Android. It has a range of features making it more useful than an antivirus app and has a zero price tag for the standard or personal version.

Disclaimer: this information is presented as general information only and may not suit all mobile phone users.